Prime Pramac’s Johann Zarco was on a podium charge in the closing stages of the Thai Grand Prix before the Frenchman settled for fourth.
With fellow Ducati and title-fighter Pecco Bagnaia the man to depose for the final rostrum position, Zarco initially looked for a way through on the Italian before conceding defeat and thinking about the bigger picture.
"I was waiting the track to get a bit dry with this line but it came a bit too late,” Zarco explained from Buriram after losing four places off the start from fifth on the grid. “Really the amount of water at the beginning of the race was difficult for me. The others, they had a bit more pace and I could not attack too much, I was sliding so I've lost positions and then it took time to get dry.
“If it could get dry a bit earlier I would have take the advantage much earlier and could think about the victory.
“But clearly five/four laps to the end I was there, then two laps to the end almost fighting for the podium but hesitating also a bit with Pecco, that is doing a great championship.
“I don't want to do any mistake in the Ducati group and because I was really hoping for victory today in this condition, I say 'stay fourth, is good enough for me’.
“It's normal,” he continued on his late decision to play it safe. “It's kind of being clever. In the championship I've lost too many points, many races ago and I need to race to try to catch a victory, but fight for a championship now, I have nothing to fight for. So that's why.
“We are a big group with Ducati, if we can sometimes give a help in some way, I'm pretty glad that the race has been like this.”